By A.Sherrod Blakely
NEW YORK For most of the Boston Celtics' first-round series with New York, the Glen Davis we had come to expect was nowhere to be found.
Known for stepping his game up in the playoffs, the Celtics' undersized power forward was consistently underwhelming at every turn.
In Boston's first three playoff games against New York, he was 5-for-16 from the field.
And his defense?
That wasn't much better, either.
But then came Easter Sunday 2011, a day folks across the world recognize the power of resurrection.
On a much smaller scale that day at Madison Square Garden, we saw Davis return to the game-changing, high-impact super-sub the Celtics have come to know and love.
The end result was a 14-point night, one of several factors in the Celtics knocking off the Knicks, 101-89, to complete a four-game sweep.
By beating the Knicks in such a quick fashion, the Celtics came home to a couple days off as opposed to having to prepare for a Game 5 matchup against the Knicks.
Even as the Celtics rolled through the first three games against New York, it was clear Davis was trying too hard.
"I feel relief," he said following Sunday's win.
Coach Doc Rivers is often Davis' biggest critic.
Although it doesn't always look like it, he's also one of his biggest supporters.
That's why even when Davis struggled, Rivers never lost faith in that at some point, Davis would get on track and help the Celtics win.
But there are times when Rivers, who knows all too well how emotional Davis can be, has to take that additional step with the 25-year-old and sit him down for a one-on-one talk.
The two had such a conversation recently, and the result . . . well, we saw it on Easter Sunday.
"Sometimes, emotionally I can get down on myself or get frustrated," said Davis, who made 6-of-8 shots in the C's series-clinching victory. "Emotionally you kind of worry about the wrong things."
Lately, Davis said he has been worrying about what he can do to help the C's instead of just playing his game.
Rivers reminded him this week that simply being who he is, is exactly what the Celtics need.
"I wanted to help my team anyway possible," Davis said. "Things weren't working my way, so you get frustrated."
What Davis was experiencing, Rivers said, was symbolic of what the Celtics' second unit as a whole was going through in this series.
In the first three games, it was clear Boston's success was primarily because of the starters playing exceptionally well.
But in Game 4, Boston's bench proved to be the difference.
"We had a big lead (in Game 4), and it was because of our bench," Rivers said. "They all were feeling the adversity and going through it, and they just hung in there. That's what happens in the playoffs. This was a great example of that. You play one or two bad games, and everyone tells you how bad you are, you start rushing. They just came out and played."